I’m so thrilled to share my talented friend Nicole’s words with you today about the intersection of food + God. Kingdom living spreads to every aspect of our lives, and food is a big part of it. I’m a convenience cook who could be a lot more intentional about what I’m buying + making + eating, and Nicole is giving us so much food for thought here! (See what I did there?)
When Kayla asked me to guest post for her Kingdom Living series, I was pretty excited. Especially when she said I could share about food. My Instagram feed is riddled with food pictures and my favorite way to unwind besides going for a run is creating a recipe with whatever ingredients happen to be in my fridge. I’m a member of two local CSAs (community supported agriculture) and any given Saturday between April and October, you’ll find me at the local farmer’s market.
So how does Jesus fit into our daily eating habits? Where do you find the King of Kings in the kitchen?
Let’s start with where our food comes from. For most of us in America, it comes from a grocery store. Someone has already cultivated, harvested and beautifully packaged anything we could possibly want. We can enter the grocery store and buy food from all across the world within miles of our home. We can even buy entire meals in a box- not requiring any labor on our part to feed our families. Our current food system is convenient, cheap and unintentional.
I’m going to argue this is NOT the way God intended us to nourish our bodies.
When he created the world, he gave us instructions for how to eat:
Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.’ Genesis 1:29
All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. Genesis 9:2-3
This seems pretty cut and dry to me. God has instructed us to eat of the seed-bearing plants, animals, grains and vegetables. I don’t see anything mentioned about ‘products created in a laboratory from chemicals and dyes’ or ‘stuff in a box you can’t even pronounce.’
As followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to live counter-culturally. To live in a way that God intended- not as the world intended. We don’t expect the ways of man to nourish our soul so why do we expect man-made ‘food’ to nourish our bodies?
Here are three ways you can bring the Kingdom into the kitchen:
- Eat whole foods. God created ‘every seed-bearing plant’ for our food. He gave us animals for food. He designed our bodies in conjunction with the rest of creation, intending for us to eat fruits, vegetables and grains in their purest form — not chemical-laden creations. Use this list to help you determine what is best to buy organic.
- Buy local. We are created to live in community and care for our neighbors. The easiest way you can do that is to support local agriculture. There are many ways you can do this — purchase from a farmer’s market, join a CSA, participate in a community garden. Find a local CSA here.
- Create a healthy food budget. Eating local and organic is more expensive. Eating big corporation boxed foods is cheap. Consider the value in purchasing from your neighbor and for your body and then adjust your budget accordingly.
This is just the start to how food impacts the Kingdom. There is much to be said to for cooking and sharing food in community. When we gather around our table with friends, family and neighbors and partake in what the Lord has given to us, we are showing thanks to our creator.
And when we take care of our bodies and fuel them with the foods we have been given, we share care for creation and our creator.
Nicole blogs here and is a self-described “coffee-drinking, music-loving, book-reading, Jesus’d, tattooed, runner, health nut, lover-of-all-foods” from Des Moines, Iowa. She recently wrote about how our obsession with food is a heart issue, and it’s totally worth a read.
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